Two standard-bearers of community journalism, the Hyde Park Herald and the South Side Weekly, are combining under nonprofit ownership in a venture that will test whether enough readers will pay for local news and features.
Both papers will continue publishing separate editions in print and online. Their combination, announced Thursday, marks the retirement of the Herald’s longtime publisher, Bruce Sagan, a major figure in the Chicago newspaper business for decades.
Sagan, 93, agreed to hand over the Herald in a noncash sale to the organization that owns the Weekly. While he’s retiring, he continues to closely watch the economics of news, a business precarious in a digital age that has diverted advertising and readership in countless directions.
“It’s an interesting moment in…